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Observations & Images
21 February 2006

The Ospreys were engaged in some serious loafing when I arrived. In fact, I timed their stay on this branch at almost two hours. Although they spent a good deal of the time grooming themselves, they also spent a lot of the time doing nothing at all. In the picture the male is at left, the female at right.

Another factor which may have given the birds pause to relax was an absence of hooting signaling the Great Horned Owls were occupied elsewhere. (South Nest Note: The Ospreys at the south nest could occasionally be heard through their cries and one of the south nest birds could be seen on a limb over the nest where it sat for a long time.)

Once they left the branch they got right down to business. I observed them mating four times. One of the times is shown at left of the female tipped up indicating, according to Alan Poole, she is receptive to the male's advances. She did this every time they were observed mating today unlike yesterday when she was unresponsive to his advances.
In between mating, both the male and female Osprey began working on the nest. So far, this is the most active day of nest building yet observed. Here the male is shown bringing material back to line the bottom of the nest. This is one of many trips both birds made to bring back nesting material.
The picture at left is the first observation of the female working on the nest. Here she carries a branch.
The female Osprey also had definite ideas on how the nest should be built. She is pictured here moving a stick around. Before she was done, she had moved a number of sticks around in a behavior seen only before in the male.
The female also showed a tendency to try and use her talons to snatch things off the pine trees while flying by. Although she was observed trying this a couple of times, she could never get a good enough grip on a branch to break it off, or possibly she does not have the strength to do it. The male was photographed trying this same technique on 13 February with the same results.
This image shows the female Osprey soaring by while the male works in the nest. In between working and mating, she would frequently flap around leisurely in a big, looping circle that never seemed to vary in size like she was following a marked trail.


Today a Great Egret fished the pond I set up next to.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
www.lunarcabin.com - - - - www.ospreywatch.org